BitTorrent Sync vs. The Cloud

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BitTorrent has released the details of a comprehensive speed test they conducted to compare Sync to cloud-based services (Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive). The results are impressive.

Using a 1.36GB video file, they tested the time to sync between two MacBook Pros on the same network. Sync performed up to 16x faster than the cloud, transferring the video file in 41 seconds between the machines.

There are plenty of caveats to note (see the full post from BitTorrent), but the test is replicable and well-planned. If you use the cloud for syncing between machines, Sync is clearly the winner. If you’re using cloud services for sharing files and remote storage, there are more factors to consider. Sync is a peer-to-peer platform, optimized for direct connections between machines without the need to upload to the cloud, then download to the other machine. Even considering Dropbox’s LAN sync, though, Sync trumped it with 16x the speed.

Personally, I use Sync between my two local Mac minis, my MacBook Air, and my colocated Mac mini. The remote mini serves as a “cloud” that I own, and functions as a backup. With Sync’s archive support, it’s a Dropbox replacement for most of my needs. I still use Dropbox, primarily for its broad compatibility with the iOS apps I use, but Sync is definitely the fastest way for me to keep identical data on multiple machines, including an iOS app for access on the go.

I also use Transporter, and have experimented with ownCloud. With Transporter’s recently-added support for versioning, it’s a strong contender, especially if you want cloud functionality without trusting your data to a third party. When it comes to transfer speed, though, Sync is still the winner.

For more information on the test, head to the BitTorrent blog, and if you haven’t tried Sync yet, check it out.